Severance package passes for axed city administrator

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK —  City Council voted 5-2 Thursday night to pay the city administrator nearly $60,000 for a severance package – when she leaves.

Councilman Dennis Hayes voted against it, saying it was ridiculous to pay Karen Folks that amount when there was just cause for letting her go.

Councilman Angelo DeGiulio also voted against it. Neither were against ousting Folks, just the monetary amount that came with it.

The continual lack of information to council members, making deals with other cities that the council learned about via social media and late-arriving agendas were just some of the items that had the council seeking Folks’ termination.

Councilman Harry Sisko, aggravated by Folks’ lack of transparency, asked that the council not approve any agenda items at the Feb. 24 council meeting, saying it arrived only four-and-a-half hours before the meeting. Sisko further claimed the late-arriving agenda made the councilors look like “fools.”

Hayes agreed by seconding Sisko’s motion, saying the council could not vote on matters where they have no “foreknowledge.”

Some residents questioned why the city administrator position wasn’t posted.

“She’s not gone, yet,” Hayes answered Thursday night.

Councilman Bob Keenan said Folks could be there for days or six months, the city has to find a replacement before she leaves.

Following the meeting, it was rumored that Finance Director Bob Cady may be asked to fill the seat at least until a permanent city administrator is appointed. The state is paying $25,000 toward the search for Folks’ replacement.

Council members remained unanimous in terminating Folks and finding a new city administrator to help move the city forward, leaving the financial burdens, Unity Studios and corruption in the past.

Ironically, prior to joining Allen Park, Folks sat on a committee that along with other business, discussed severance packages. Folks shot down six-month packages, yet, Keenan said former Emergency Manager Joyce Parker nearly made it a directive for Folks if she was let go with or without cause.

Many residents are outraged by the six-month package saying it could help pay for new emergency staff or help the city in other ways. But in the end, many just want the issue behind them.

Residents, like Mike Mullins, said they just want to move forward and see their city prosper again.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)

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